Hair loss and skin damage are possibly two of the most daunting experience that one could encounter. While there could be a number of physiological conditions affecting and instigating the same, there are actually quite a few attempts done by the researchers that have little benefits in this aspect.
A new experimental drug (R) formulated by the investigators from the Johns Hopkins University has successfully and effectively reversed not just hair loss and skin damage but even the signs of hair whitening and even skin inflammation in correlation with previous studies to the human diets rich in fats and cholesterol.
According to the investigators of the experiment, they stated saying that this experimental compound technically just halts the production of a number of fats termed as glycosphingolipids, otherwise known as GSLs, for short which make up as one of the main components of the skin and the rest of the cell membranes.
The present realm of studies have shown that the mice who are fed with a high fat and cholesterol diet have the tendency to develop hair discoloration, gradually turning the hair white alongside extensive hair loss as well inflammation in the skin. When the experimental drug in question was administered on the mice, it seemed to reverse those negative effects and get rid of the associated signs and symptoms effectively.
In order to clarify their claims, the investigators went on to explain that the fact that this specific experimental drug has been effective in reversing hair loss and skin damage in mice doesn’t necessarily mean that the same will be fruitful in humans too. There is not enough evidence to back the claims for clinical trials on humans but this specific conclusion is expected to prove a breakthrough for addressing certain pathways behind hair loss and skin damage with any form of oral or even topical medications.
Dr Subroto Chatterjee, who is the professor of pediatrics and medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is conducting the experiment with the unlabelled drug clarified saying that this certainly does require more research regarding this for better approach for clinical trials but the findings are actually being helpful in possibly reversing the effects of skin diseases like that of psoriasis or even the wounds one gets from diabetes and other forms of skin damage.
Previous studies concerning the GSLs have shown the impacts of this fatty acid in the prevalence in the cells and make up for the uppermost layer of the skin. With this latest breakthrough, the researchers are still on the lookout for the impacts that will happen if one disrupts the GSLs in the cell membrane. Also, they are in the lookout to see whether D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP) which halts the production of the GSLs will have any kind of reversing impacts on the negative effects.
To test out the drug, Dr Chatterjee and his colleagues genetically modified a group of mice to have atherosclerosis, in which the mice hat fat deposits that clogged the arteries. Following that, one group of mice was fed with a Western diet filled with fats and cholesterol while the other group was on a standard diet with chow. The mice were kept on the assigned diet for about 12 to 20 weeks.
As the result, the researchers found that the group of mice that was on the Western high fat diet experienced skin lesions and even suffered from hair whitening. When the diet was extended on to 36 weeks, it was found that the results were even severe with extended presence of hair whitening and even hair loss and skin damage.
Following witnessing the outcomes, the investigators started administering the mice with 1 mg and 10 mg of D-PDMP per 1 kg of body weight who were in between the age of 20-36 weeks. The mice were still on the Western diet in the meantime and following the administration of the drug, it was found that there was reversal if the skin damage along with the discoloration of the hair in the mice. The researchers even drew conclusions that the administration of the 1 mg of drug in the capsule form was far better than the 10 mg of it in the liquid form.
Not just the hair loss and skin damage, the researchers even found an infiltrated amount of neutrophils in the mice when they were solely fed with the Western diet. Upon the administration of the experimental drug, there was a drastic drop in the levels of the neutrophils in the body which, in turn, contributed to the lessened occurrence of inflammation in the body.
Using the mass spectrometry analysis, the researchers assessed the chemical composition of the mixture to find traceable amounts of ceramide, glucosylceramide and lactosylceramide levels in the mice. In comparison to the mice who were fed with a normal chow diet, the ones on the Western diet had significantly lowered levels of ceramides which was restored with the drug.
The lead researcher, Dr Chatterjee further exclaimed saying that their study confirms for a fact that the Western Diet sure does play a very crucial role in contributing to hair loss and skin damage and even induce inflammation. He further went on to stating that this kind of similar hair loss and whitening is also witnessed in men who have a poor diet.
There needs to be way more research in this field to be able to find significant breakthrough regarding the same. It is necessary to conduct more animal research to deduce the common grounds of approach to the treatment to reverse the effects of skin damage as well as hair loss. Dr Chatterjee hopes that the future will have a much better and efficient approach to treating the conditions associated with hair whitening, hair loss and skin damage as well as other signs of aging.